With the advent of online gaming, technology and electronic devices took an interesting turn. At first, gaming was limited to the system you were playing on and its controller. Now there are a wide variety of products you can use to make your gaming experience customized and functional for you. One of the most essential parts of a gaming setup these days is a microphone. You can easily connect with others online unless you can talk with them. So, you need a microphone. Many people use a headset with a built-in microphone but gamers who are heavy into livestreaming take that piece of their gaming puzzle the next level with an external mic. This small but powerful microphone from Turtle Beach is perfect just this type of task.
This compact microphone was designed specifically for livestreaming. It was for gamers who were streaming content directly from their consoles or computers. The microphone provides an easy plug-n-play solution for audio recording. The mic comes equipped with a built-in headphone connection (with zero latency output) so you can still use your favorite headphones alongside it. The Stream Mic features a dual-capsule mic array that supports multiple pick-up patterns. The Stream Mic was built to work with the Xbox One, PS4 Pro, PS4, PC, and Mac. It connects through a simple Mini-USB to USB-A cable and has a front-panel mic mute button while the rest of the controls are on the back. It ships with a desktop stand (assembly required) and has multiple mounting options (works with 5/8 inch microphone stands and booms). The Stream Mic has a studio-quality digital processor that automatically balances EQ, gain, and compression. You can customize your streaming setup with multiple recording patterns and the Stream Mic is perfect for recording commentary, voiceovers, and more.
The microphone and its stand come disassembled inside a nicely designed box. A picture of the product is shown on the exterior of the box along with basic details of the device. When you unpackage the contents, you will find the main microphone and the parts to its stand. An extra long Mini USB cable is provided and so is a quick reference guide. In addition to the standard desktop stand, the Stream Mic also comes with a Mic Book Adapter in case you want to attach it to a boom arm. The microphone itself is very lightweight, but the stand is well-weighted and has silicone feet on its base to prevent the microphone from moving unnecessarily.
Getting started with the Stream Mic was very easy. Turtle Beach designed this microphone so it could be easily used on many platforms so all I had to do was plug in a USB cable. For me, this also requires the use of a USB-C adapter since I was using my 2016 MacBook Pro for testing. As with most external audio sources, I had to visit my System Preferences in order to activate the Stream Mic as my external input audio source. Once I did, I was able to adjust the input volume on the mic from the System Preferences panel and then I could start using it. There is a Console Mode switch on the back of the microphone. You need to make sure it’s set to the correct mode before it will work with your system. I do love the design of this microphone. It has a very retro/classic radio microphone feel to it and it has an adjustable tilt when it’s mounted. If you are using the mic with an Xbox, you will flip the switch to the left. If you are using it with anything else, you will flip the switch to the right.
With it sitting so low on my desk, I wondered how well it would record my voice if I were sitting naturally in my desk chair. So, I did a test recording of myself reading Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. I read excerpts of the book various distances away from the microphone (6 inches, 12 inches, and approximately 4 feet). I tried my best to keep my voice at a steady, even level and just adjust my personal distance away from the microphone. I felt like the Stream Mic did a very good job filtering out background noise (air handling was on in my office at the time of recording) and keeping my voice at a balanced volume. You can hear a difference between 6 inches and 4 feet, but I am still audible from 4 feet away. It is important to note that when I was testing this out, I was in a fairly isolated environment with only some air handling noise in the background. Other noises, like keyboard clicks, might be picked up by the mic.
While I didn’t specifically use this for live streaming, I find it to be a very nice, lightweight microphone. It’s small enough to transport easily from place to place and it has a fool-proof setup method. I love that it has a mute button on the front and that it has a colored LED indicator that lights up green (if in use) or red (if muted). This is a very easy to use microphone that is competitively priced with other USB microphones. Because it’s made by Turtle Beach it’s been optimized to work specifically for gamers, but it can be used for a wide-variety of tasks. I am a big fan of this little microphone and plan on giving it a permanent spot in my minimalist desk setup.